The real life mysteries surrounding the author Stieg Larsson are as fascinating as anything in his books.
When Larsson died suddenly of a heart attack in 2004, he did not leave a will . Unfortunately for Eva Gabrielson , his longtime partner , this meant that she could not inherit. Swedish law does not recognize common-law marriages and this meant that Gabrielson had no claim on his estate. Babrielson had met him at an antiwar rally he was just 18 and she had lived with him ever since and collaborated with him on his novels. Still, because they were not legally married, she was left out in the cold and Larsson’s entire estate awarded to his father ,Erland , and his brother, Joakim. This is particularly sad because they were not close to Stieg and had played no part in his success, the success that they are now benefitting from.
For the past five years , Gabrielson has been involved in an acrimonious dispute with the father and brother over Stieg’s estate. She wants the full rights to manage the Millenium novels because she feels that they rightfully belong to her and that is what Stieg would have wanted.For their part, the father and brother have offered her the sum of 2 million euros as a final settlement. This would seem to be a pittance considering that the books have already sold 30 million copies, that they are continuing to sell at the rate of 50,000 copies a day in the U.S, and that the movie rights will be even more valuable. This offer she has rejected and , as of June 2010, talks have broken off.
The story does not end there.
Before Stieg Larsson died , it is rumored that he had almost completed the fourth novel in the series and outlined six others. Eva Gabrielson at first claimed that she had possession of that elusive fourth novel but now denies it , no doubt fearful that the father and brother will try to get their hands on it. Until the dispute is settled , it does not seem that we will see any more novels about Lisbeth Salander. This would be a pity but an even greater pity, in my opinion , would be if Larsson’s relatives got their claws into the remainder of Stieg Larsson’s legacy.
Meanwhile , Stieg Larsson’s novels continue to grow in popularity as does the cult of Lisbeth Salander.Already tourists to Stockholm can go on a walking tour of the city and visit many of Salander and Blomkvist’s haunts. A so -called millenium tour takes them to such places as the Kaffebar cafe (where Mikael Blomkvist liked to drop in for coffee, Kvarnen Bar (which Lisbeth frequented) and other locations described in the novels.The tour costs 120 Swedish kroner ( about $ 16), Elsewhere, Lisbeth fans can get themselves a (temporary) dragon tattoo , just like the one that Lisbeth had.
It may be a while before we see another Lisbeth Salander novel but her popularity shows no signs of diminishing.